Tuesday, September 6, 2011

MEMORY: THE BACK STOOP...april 19, 2003

We had a long narrow screened in back porch. It housed the Bendix automatic washer, various shelves and tables. On all these was totally unorganized stuff and important junk. You would go there if searching for a tool, a bottle, string, extension cord or dog food. At the end of the porch was an old screen door with a spring that pulled it shut with a bang nearly before you were outside. And there you would step onto a very poorly poured and finished concrete slab about 4 feet by three feet. It was rough in the sense that it had large visible smooth rocks and lots of ups and downs across its surface but it felt smooth and warm to  to bare summer feet. 

The area around the stoop had no grass but was pure brown feet trodden soil. It was my favorite place to dig with an old table spoon, easily found on the back porch. It was my own excavation site. Six brothers had played here before me over a twenty year period and I always knew I would dig up some remains of their playing. The most common objects found were marbles. These were  exciting finds because they were different than my marbles. It was within my financial ability to buy large bags of new marbles at the dime store which I did and loved the feel of. But the excavated marbles were from another generation. The texture and designs were from another age. They were not clear glass with swirls of color. They were more solid and the colors were less exact. Some looked more like they were made of stone and sometimes they were not perfectly round. They likely had chips and nicks in them and demanded to be scrubbed with a toothbrush, easily found on the back porch. I don’t know what I did with those unusual marbles. They did not really belong in my bag of regular marbles. I probably kept them in my room in a drawer but I don’t know when or how they left my possession. But I could probably find some of them, along with some of my own which would now be relics, if I could dig by the back stoop again.

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